South Africa and Israel: Reflection
Sent on january 22, 2002
In the commemorations of Martin Luther King, Jr Day yesterday, we were inspired
to renew the commitment to social change by non-violence by speeches about South
Africa, Apartheid, and the power of resistance to oppression and so forth.

Archbishop Desmond Tuto, observed during Christmas visit to Jerusalem, December
25, 1989: " I am a black South African, and if I were to change the names, a
description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank could
describe events in South Africa." (From Israeli daily Haaretz, cited in
Palestine Perspectives, January/February 1990).

The New York Times on 14 December 1981 reported in an article titled "South
Africa needs more arms, Israeli says" that Ariel Sharon, then Israel's defense
minister visited the Apartheid regime for 10 days and pushed for more weapons to
fight the African National Congress.  To quote: "Mr. Sharon, in company with
many American and NATO military analysts, reported that South African needed
more modern weapons if it was to fight successfully against soviet-supplied
troops [the ANC]." (NY Times 12/14/1981, page A9).

Somehow the very close military and ideological ties between Apartheid South
Africa and Apartheid Israel seem to be forgotten.  Also forgotten is our own US
government support of the South African regime for over 30 years.  Even after
many in the world boycotted South Africa, our government was the last to  relent
(see the article below from 1986).  I also enclosed another article from 1988.
Reading those articles, one is actually not only struck by the similarity to
todays news about Israel/Palestine but also encouraged to think back and see
that it is possible to change.

Notice in particular the eery similarities in both articles to recent news about
violence and terrorism, South African Jets attacking bases and "targets" to
"respond" to the "violence" (does this remind you of something). Botha saying
"we have had enough of violence" is eerily similar to his friend Sharon's
statements. The irony and parallels are very, very hard to resist.

A. Phillip Randoph (1889-1979), African American, Civil Rights Leader, and one
who inspired Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr once said:

"Salvation for a race, nation, or class must come from within.  Freedom is never
granted; it is won.  Justice is neve given; it is exacted.  Freedom and justice
must be struggled for by the oppressed .. and the struggle must be continuous."

For updates on the Holy Land, see

A Luta Continua  (the Struggle Continues)

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD


Los Angeles Times
June 2, 1986

WASHINGTON --Secretary of State George P. Shultz said today that Americans
should stay and build -- not cut and run -- as the best way to prod South Africa
into ending apartheid.

In what was clearly a Reagan Administration policy statement, Shultz told a
group of religious leaders that "we seek the end of racism, apartheid and
oppression," but "not to inflict random damage" on blacks, whites and South
Africa's economy.

He said the United States prefers "carefully targeted signals," not a severing
of all American business ties with the white-minority regime. Shultz said
advocates of divestment -- cutting all U.S. economic ties to South Africa --
"have failed to make a convincing case." He said the approach could send the
country into an irreversible economic tailspin.

"Once you lose the confidence of the investing community . . . if people feel
there is no way to do sensible business there, getting it back is tremendously
difficult," Shultz told a clerical conference held under State Department

'Negotiations Alone'

He said "negotiations alone offer the prospect of peaceful change" in South
Africa but he was not clear whether the Administration favors talks between
Pretoria and the African National Congress.

Nelson Mandela, the leader of the black anti-apartheid group, is in prison, and
the South African government is shunning official contact with the ANC. But some
white businessmen have held some tentative talks with Congress members.

"There are elements (in the ANC) that have, we know, engaged in terrorist
acts," Shultz said. But, he said "there are also others with different

President Reagan, under pressure from Congress, last year imposed a limited
range of economic sanctions on South Africa, including bans on U.S. computer
exports to all agencies that enforce apartheid and a prohibition on loans except
when used to improve social conditions for all races.

'Influence . . . Is Finite'

Some private firms and universities, meanwhile, have begun a campaign to end
all business operations and withdraw all investments from the country.

Shultz disagreed with the tactic. "Americans, by staying and building, not by
cutting and running, can help build a freer society," he said.

Shultz told the religious leaders, who appeared to favor a variety of strategies
toward the Pretoria government, that "our influence in South Africa is finite."

Shultz said U.S. firms account for less than 1% of business investments in South
Africa and less than 15% of the country's trade is with the United States.

The Times (London)
February 21 1988, Sunday

HEADLINE: South Africa jets hit Swapo bases

SOUTH AFRICAN jet fighters yesterday attacked two bases of the Namibian
guerrilla movement Swapo in southern Angola in retaliation for a bomb blast
which killed at least 18 people and seriously injured another 31.

According to a statement issued in Pretoria yesterday by General Jannie
Geldenhuys, the South African army chief, eight Mirage and five Impala fighters
took part in two separate raids on Swapo targets near the Angolan town of
Lubango, about 180 miles north of the Namibian border.

Geldenhuys said that the attacks, which were successful, were against what he
described as Swapo's most important training centres in Angola. No further
details were given. He warned that South African security forces 'will also not
hesitate to act in the country's security interest against any terrorist
organisation outside the country where they skulk under the security umbrellas
of other armed forces'.

The statement did not mention any Swapo casualties. A military spokesman said
all the South African aircraft returned to their bases.

Swapo, which has been engaged in a 21-year war against South African presence
in Namibia, has denied responsibility for
Friday's bombing in ihe northern town of Oshakati. But South Africa insists
that it was responsible for the explosion, the worst in Namibia's history.

The blast completely destroyed a branch of the First National Bank (previously
Barclays) shortly before 1pm. The bomb, using 55lbs of plastic explosive, had
been left in ihe lobby which was packed with black government employees
collecting their pay.

According to witness reports, people were seen running from the scene with
their clothes on fire.

All but one of the dead were black and the death toll is expected to rise still
further as almost all of the 31 people injured are in a very serious condition.

Oshakati, which is about 25 miles from the Angolan border, is the site of a big
military base and administrative centre.

The military base there is the main launch pad for South African military
operations in Angola in support of Angolan Unita rebels fighting Cuban-backed
Angolan government forces. Last week, Pretoria announced that a further four
white soldiers had been killed in operations in support of Unita.

Pretoria maintains that so long as Cuban soldiers remain in Angola, South
Africa will not withdraw from Namibia and permit elections supervised by the
United Nations leading to independence, as proposed in UN Security Council
resolution 435.

Yesterday's air raid follows tough warnings by Pik Botha, the South African
foreign minister, and Magnus Malan, the defence minister, that South African
forces would now conduct 'hot pursuit' operations into neighbouring states after
border guerrilla attacks. They issued their warning while visiting a Northern
Transvaal farmstead which was attacked by five guerillas a week ago.

'We have now had enough of this,' said Botha.

Pretoria claims that the guerrillas launched their attack from Zimbabwe and
returned there after raking the farm house with rocket and machinegun fire,
causing extensive damage but no casualties. It was the first time a white farm
has been directly attacked.

Pretoria yesterday dismissed as ludicrous a statement by Jose Eduardo dos
Santos, Angola's president, that South Africa had lost 140 men fighting in
Angola since last month. Pretoria says it has lost about 30 men since September.